WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Daredevil Season 3, streaming now on Netflix.
Described by Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel Television, as "maybe the worst-kept secret in the history of Marvel," the long-awaited introduction of Bullseye in Daredevil's third season leaked in May with early reports of the casting of Wilson Bethel. That spoiler did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the fan-favorite assassin, or to alter the producers' plans for his role on the series.
"The story that I pitched before there was a Season 3 is the story you watch onscreen," new showrunner Erik Oleson told CBR earlier this week. "The press reports that Bullseye was going to be in the season had no effect on the storyline. Marvel is a super-secret organization, as you well know, and they like to keep spoilers away from the audience as long as possible, and sometimes they’re very successful. This is a case where some errors were made and it leaked, but it really had no effect, creatively. I think that audiences are going to be very surprised by the origin story of Bullseye. It’s an original story, so the fact that this character will end up becoming Bullseye, at some point, does not spoil, really, the story that you’re going to see in the last seven episodes."
Indeed, after remaining silent about Bethel's role for so long, Marvel and Netflix opened the floodgates earlier this month, first confirming he's playing Benjamin Poindexter, an alias used by Bullseye in the comics, and then releasing promos that revealed the assassin with the virtually unerring masquerades as Daredevil this season. But this isn't the character from the comics, not exactly. This Poindexter is a disgraced former FBI agent with a troubled past and a broken moral compass who finds his new true north in, of all people, the manipulative Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio), who shapes him into the very weapon he, and Daredevil, needs.
"From the very get-go, Matt needed a physical threat, somebody who could match him, and beat him, in certain circumstances in order for there to be real stakes for all of the fight sequences of the season," Oleson explained. "Bullseye is that character. When Marvel put that option in front of me, that I could introduce Bullseye in Season 3, I leapt at it. But I also wanted to do it in a way that maintained the spirit and the tone of the Season 3 that I wanted to tell, which was a layered and grounded, character-driven season that has explosive action, and all of the kind of epic fights that Marvel fans want, but which have real stakes."
Now available on Netflix, Marvel's Daredevil Season 3 stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Joanne Whalley as Sister Maggie, Wilson Bethel as Benjamin Poindexter, Jay Ali as Rahul "Ray" Nadeem and Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.